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Industry Associations Launch New Conflict Mineral Guide

The war in Congo is fueled by a thriving gold trade, with armed groups controlling mines and earning an estimated $50 million last year from selling gold and minerals. This gold is from a day's work at Kaniola mine in eastern Congo. | Image credit: Grassroots Reconciliation Group / Sasha Lezhnev

Seven of the world's largest industry associations have collaborated with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP to launch a web-based training module within the Conflict Minerals Resource Center (CMRC).

The organizations say the goal of the joint initiative is to deploy an easy-to-use conflict minerals training tool for suppliers in their seven industries. The training module is based on the best practices developed by leaders in these industries and their suppliers during the 2013 conflict minerals reporting period.

Prior to the training module launch, suppliers that utilized the CMRC resources to understand the requirements of conflict minerals compliance were informed and responded faster to customer requests for conflict minerals due diligence information than their uninformed counterparts, facilitating the ease of exchange of information between suppliers and their customers.

Key representatives from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) worked with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel to align training and resource center priorities to provide member companies with the information they need to comply with the SEC regulation.

The Conflict Minerals Resource Center (CMRC) educates companies that are impacted by challenges associated with engaging suppliers about Dodd-Frank Section 1502. Members of the CMRC have access to up-to-date news and analysis, sample documents, and training videos.

In February, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) reported that it had validated conflict-free smelters or refiners of all four conflict minerals or the first time in the initiative’s five-year history, and is calling on more smelters and refiners to join the effort to become conflict-free by undergoing CFSI’s conflict minerals audit.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich challenged the entire electronics industry to join Intel in becoming “conflict-free.”


Based in San Francisco, Mike Hower is a sustainability strategist and storyteller on Edelman's Business + Social Purpose team where he works with some of the world's leading brands on corporate sustainability strategy and stakeholder engagement. With several years of… [Read more about Mike Hower]